Zika Update: Florida Records First Case of Zika-Linked Birth Defect
Florida officials have confirmed its first case of Zika-related birth defect.
According to the Florida Department of Health, a child was born with microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with abnormally shrunken heads and underdeveloped brains.
The child's mother, whose identity was not released, was infected in Haiti and came to Florida to deliver the baby, the health department said. The department is also working with the family to provide the child with health services through its Early Steps program.
Florida governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in over 20 countries where people in Florida have been diagnosed with the virus, CNN reports.
"Now that a baby has been born in our state with adverse impacts from Zika, it is clear that every available resource is needed to prevent local transmissions in our state," Florida governor Rick Scott said in a report by News4Jax.com.
Scott stressed the importance of protection against the virus.
"We're in hurricane season. We're in rainy season. We've got these Olympics coming up in 40 days," Scott said during a roundtable meeting at the Duval County Health Department.
"If you follow what's going on, whether it's Puerto Rico or Brazil or other places, this is a significant issue. ... Clearly an issue that if we do the right things, we can control the spread of Zika."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that pregnant women or those thinking of becoming pregnant should postpone travel to Zika-affected areas. The CDC released a guidance that urged health service providers to test all pregnant women with a history of traveling to a Zika-affected country and to conduct additional ultrasounds for pregnant women with a history of Zika virus.
In the U.S., 265 pregnant women are infected with Zika, and all of them got the virus from traveling to affected countries, NBC News reports. U.S. territory Puerto Rico also reported 216 infected pregnant women.
Just recently, CDC reported four babies born with Zika-related birth defects and another four pregnancies have been lost to miscarriage and abortion because of the birth defects.